showering alone.

by s.m.

“And now I have to walk down the hall to take a shower.”

“You can wear one of my jerseys,” he said, jumping out of bed and opening a dresser drawer.  “Here.”  He offered her a light-blue shirt.

She unfolded it.  “When were you a number ten?”

“When I thought I was a striker,” he grinned.  “I didn’t move back to midfield until I started with Juve.  Coach saw something there and it made all the difference.”

Francesca pulled up her panties and put on Paolo’s jersey.  She turned her back to him.  “Can you see my ass?”

He started chuckling.  “I’m sorry, it just seems irrelevant at this point,” he said.

She glared at him and peeked her head out the door to scope out the hallway.

“I can see it a little bit,” Paolo said.  “When you move like that.”

She gave him one last withering look and headed for the bathroom.

She showered quickly, aware she was a guest, the Romaldos had only one bathroom, and Paolo would have to go after her.  Though they’d gotten into the habit of showering together, and it would have been far more efficient in this case, she could only imagine what Amedeo would think about her then.

Wrapped in a towel, she scurried down the hallway again and knocked twice before entering Paolo’s bedroom.  He was still lying in bed, propped up on pillows and scrolling intently on his phone.

“All clear?” he asked.

“So far,” she answered.  “Are you going to get up?”

“I suppose,” he said, yawning.  “I could stand to sleep a little longer, honestly.”

“I thought it was already breakfast time.”

He ambled out of bed and picked up his shorts from the floor, pulling them on.  “Stay here until I get back,” he said, walking out the door.

She couldn’t tell if he was joking or serious.  She wrapped her hair in the towel and dressed–slim black jeans, a striped Saint James shirt, suede booties and a voluminous scarf.  Holding her compact mirror up to her face in front of the single window, she was applying her makeup when Paolo came back in the room.

“You’re still here,” he said, loosening the towel from his waist and drying his shoulders.  She would never get used to seeing him naked; each time, it was a surprise that made her heart skip momentarily, the perfect sculptedness of his muscles, the absence of clothing and distance.  He was real, warm, close.

“You told me to stay,” she replied.

“Since when do you listen to me?” he grinned.

“Since I’m petrified of your father and I’m not going out there without you,” she said.  She looked over the compact at him again and was disappointed to see him dressed.

“Come on,” he said.  “Show time.”